Updated on March 24, 2007
J.W. asks from Centralia, WA
8 answers

My daughter, this week, took up a habit of hitting me when she is mad. I do not know where she got this idea that it is okay. I have disiplined her whenever she does it. I know that she doesnt take me as serious as she does my husband. I dont know how to get her to quit. Has anyone else had this problem? If so, how do you resolve it or deal with it?

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So What Happened?

For those of you who asked- she doesnt take me as serious as she does my husband. Im not as strict with her but its hard to when Im around her 24/7, I dont want to be punishing her all day. But Ive been consistant this week with the disipline when she hits and she is starting to understand that its not ok. Hopefully I can rid her of the habit shortly.

More Answers



answers from Medford on

How old is she? My son is 16 months and he started hitting around 12 months. I don't know where he got it either, I guess it's just in them. ;) There's no point in hitting them back or spanking them at this age, too young to understand. I just grab his hand and sternly tell him No Hitting. If he does it again I put him down or walk away from him.

1 mom found this helpful


answers from Portland on

I dont know how old your daughter is but its a phase that all kids go through. My daughter went through it when she was about one and a half to two. I also see and know other kids around the same age that are hitting. They really have no idea that it is wrong or that it can hurt. I ignored it and my daughter quickly stopped doing it. Its really hard to disipline a child for something they are doing if they dont even understand what they are doing.



answers from Portland on

Our now 10-1/2 yr. daughter sometimes hit or kicked at her father and I when angry. Younger children don't know how to communicate their feeling to us adults and sometimes act out. She never did this to her classmates parents or family friends or neighbor providing child care for us. Our 5th grader has not hit in ages. One of my daycare mom (a Special Needs speech teacher), our girls, daycare children and myself have been hit, bruised from being bit, kicked and had our hair pulled. However, this boy was diagnosed about the age of 3 or 4 at St. Vincent's Hospital with Sensory Integretion Dysfunction. Therefore, he was developmentally behind his age, could not communicate with peer/adults so he hit, bit, etc. I got books related to "hitting" at RedLeaf Press, Children's Book-of-the-Month Club or Overstock.com. Also, the workshops available to parents/providers through Child Care Resource & Referral (CCR&R) help me tremendously.



answers from Seattle on

Yes I have had that problem with both my younger kids. What I did and it seemed to work was just swat them back and ask them how they like to be hit. Not hard I think that was my problem is not enough discipline with my kids but try it and see if it works. Good luck



answers from Portland on

How old is your daughter and what form of discipline did you use?

Nearly all children pay more attention to their fathers or even other male caretakers. Men usually have a more authorative presence because of their work experience combined with the social expectation from the time that they are children to be tough. Their voice is deeper which sounds more authoritive. And they are around less and so the child doesn't get as used to them as to their mother.

To be taken seriously everyone has to be firm but unemotional as well as be consistent in enforcing consequences over a period of time.

I'm going to assume that your daughter is either a toddler or a preschooler. All kids this age test out hitting. What usually works is to grab their hand and tell them that hurts and not to do it. If they hit while you're in the process of doing something stop that activity until they can be calm enough not to hit. For some parents using a time out works.

And teach an alternative way to express anger. Learning not to hit will take time. A child's mind does not work the same way that an adult's mind works. They learn by repetition. It's true that adults learn some things by repetition but we mostly learn thru our ability to think; understand and problem solve. Children learn how to assess the situation, see the problem, and understand how to solve it only over a period of years and they're not good at it until they're in their teens. Even then their brain has to have more growth to be able to make consistently good decisions in some areas. That is what is called maturity.

A few children will learn after being told once to not hit. For most it takes longer. Because they are not only having to learn that hitting is wrong but also how to manage their feelings in a more acceptable way. They will learn more quickly when the parent can consistently discipline without hitting and without anger. Consistency, in this context, means use one consequence only every time that it happens. If after a couple of weeks that consequence doesn't work try a different one.

I do not see how hitting a child back teaches them to not hit. To me it says hitting is OK. If Mommy hits, why can't I? It might work if you talk about how hitting hurts and show the child how it hurts in that context that once. If discipline is a slap then it makes no sense to require that the child not slap. We are their role models.



answers from Portland on

Some good advice here already. My son is 2 1/2 and hits when he gets overstimulated or upset. I do the grab his hand and say no hitting but I also send him to his room for some alone time. It usually works well, and I think its partly because he is hitting for attention and isnt getting it, and partly because having time to himself calms him down and distracts him. I tried the hit back one time and it just escalated the problem and made me feel horrible. Good luck. Jen



answers from Portland on

I have a three year old son who has started doing the same thing. I have a "little" chair that is kid size that is in the kitchen in a spot that is away from everything. I have told him just once he can not hit. So I concider that the warning, but, when he would hit me, I would immediately pick him up, put him in that chair for a time out. He sat there for three minutes. Then when the three minutes were over I go back over, ask him why he was put in time out. He says becuase I hit you. I say "that is not ok, we dont do that here." He says he is sorry and we kiss and make up etc....the thing is that you have to be very constant and if she gets out of the chair add a minute and you tell her you are adding a minute. Get something that has a buzzer, like an egg timer or something that she can see how much time is left. When she gets out of that chair say I am adding a minute and put her back in the chair. You have to follow through with this!!! The first time my son was put in time out he was there for 20 minutes untill he figured out that mommy wasnt joking. She will test her limits!! Don't let her push your buttons or walk over you, BE STRONG!! Good Luck!



answers from Medford on

Why doesn't she take you as seriously? Just make sure your punishments are always consistant and you follow through on any threats you make.

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